With all of the progress that board games have made over the last few decades, it is easy to sometimes lose sight of the classics. These are the games that may not be as aesthetically pleasing or have as much depth as modern games, but still paved the way for what we have today. More importantly, they are often more accessible, as they can be found in most households and the rules are more universally known. These classics can still have large followings, so why not make them in a way that they appear as timeless as they are?
Maztermind is a Vietnamese brand that develops and produces board games. While Maztermind provides new and modern tabletop experiences, one might find that the main appeal is the handcrafted classics. Tabletop enthusiasts can find games like Chess and Dominoes in Maztermind’s catalog, each with gorgeous, handcrafted boards and pieces. They also occasionally create aesthetic spinoffs of classics. This time, we will be taking a look at Islandopoly, a relaxing getaway from the standard Monopoly.
The first thing that anyone will notice about Islandopoly is the gorgeous box that it comes in. Everything comes in a blue briefcase that appears to carry everything that players need for their island-hopping vacation. It’s one of the best-looking board game boxes out there when it comes to creativity and presentation. The parts inside are just as impressive.
Islandopololy is one of the few games in Maztermind’s catalog that doesn’t add a classic, antique aesthetic to the classic that it is restoring. Instead, Islandopololy makes a few massive changes to the layout of Monopoly while still maintaining the same gameplay mechanics. The end result is a game of Monopoly that feels fresh entirely due to the aesthetics and novelty of the design.
The board itself is round a simple departure from the standard Monopoly board but looks nice considering the ocean and island aesthetic. The middle of the board features a blue ocean with popup 3D mountains emerging from the ocean. Resin is used to create beautiful translucent water, while the rest of the board is built with wood and leather. Each house is hand-sanded, while each boat piece is airbrushed by hand. The end result is a board that looks and feels gorgeous. It’s a handmade product that feels professional.
The cards and currency look like they come out of a travel catalog. The rules are in the form of a travel brochure. Every component comes together perfectly thematically to create an immersive experience.
When one puts all of the colors, resin, and sailboats aside, it’s easy to see that this is just another game of Monopoly. Anyone who has played the classic before will know how to pick up and enjoy this one.
The creative decisions don’t get in the way at all. The board itself isn’t massive, so any table that can accommodate Monopoly can do the same for Islandopoly. The different names and colors of the various islands (Properties) might throw off some, but this isn’t a significant setback for most.
The large suitcase box will struggle to fit on any board game shelf, which reinforces the idea that this is a decorative statement piece that is more likely to be shown off than played. I can see it looking especially lovely in a vacation or beach home.